Bleh

It is my sad duty to inform you, my readers, that Timeline is a steaming pile of poo. Let me ruin it for you:

The surfer and the cute chick live. The professor lives. The French guy dies. The British are being assisted by an evil scientist from the present day. The professor and the Hot Scottish Guy (who also lives, but stays in the past) blow up the English fortress with gunpowder made by the professor as part of a bargain to keep from being run through by the English lord. The sarcophagus with the portrait of a one-eared lord? It has the Hot Scottish Guy and the Cute French Girl in it.

The cliches run rampant like… like… cliches at a college Renaissance festival.

The best actors were the trebuchets.

You have been warned.

Resonance and Harmonies

While driving around yesterday I caught a show on PRI called The Next Big Thing, a weekly exploration of New York…sort of. I caught the tail end of the show, just in from the beginning of an essay by Bruce Odland on a project he and partner Sam Auinger have been working on for almost fifteen years: turning cities into musical instruments.

The tool they use is an aluminum pipe of a specific length – similar to an organ pipe – which resonates at a specific frequency; in this instance, a low B-flat. Microphones are mounted at specific distances along the inside of the pipe. They pick up the overtones generated by the vibration of the pipe. This data is sent to concrete speakers which feed the note and overtones back into the environment.

The result is something extraordinary.

Traffic becomes a chorus of Tibetan and Franciscan monks backed by cello and didgeridoo. Rough edges are smoothed and the crude instruments of industry become bellows in a gigantic pipe-organ.

There is a sample .mp3 at the bottom of this page .

The audio from The Next Big Thing is here . The Odlund piece is at the end of the hour.

A little digging at the O+A site uncovered a link to some more audio clips of their experiments in Germany (German site).

Flotsam

It appears that the brain-busting work I did with cellular automata experiments is attracting a bit of attention. This fella has graciously linked to my site; an act I consider high praise indeed, considering the amount of Mojo he wields.

In other news [DEVELOPERS – you know who you are!!] someone with a Big Brain has figured out how to run multiple versions of MS Internet Explorer on Windows platforms (scroll to the bottom of the page for the standalone downloads). This one simple act suddenly makes cross-browser testing vastly easier. And on that note, I have two things to say to users of IE5.0 and 5.5: [1] Sorry about the glitches in my site, and [2] Upgrade your damn browsers to Mozilla or Firebird .

This development in no way lessens my loathing of IE5.0 and IE5.5. In fact, by installing them on my computer I feel like I am somehow now in league with the virus-writing 15-year-olds of the world.

Hearken Unto Me

1. Across the ocean from Europe, there was a place called North America,
2. Which was discovered by an Italian explorer in the employ of the queen of Spain,
3. Colonized extensively by the Spanish and the French,
4. Developed into a rich nation by the labor of African slaves supplied by the Dutch,
5. And thus became the largest English-speaking nation on earth,
6. Namely, the United States of America.
7. The inhabitants of the United States decided to call themselves Yankees,
8. For some reason,
9. And eventually noticing that the rest of the world was there,
10. Decided to rule it.
11. This is their story.

The Book of Damn Yankees
(Otherwise known as the Book of Manifest Destiny)
Chapter I
Verses 1 – 11
of The Boomer Bible , by R.F. Laird

mallard-duck

Something New

Today I went to my second yoga class, ever. The first was last week.

This class is the first genuinely new thing I have started in about five years. Sure, I have had many new and unique experiences in that time, but none of those were pursuits; they were discrete events and experiences. Yoga is the kind of thing I will keep.

Because it is a new thing my ego took a little self-inflicted bruising. I am not used to not being good at what I do. No; that is not quite right. I am not used to not being accomplished at what I do.

So having come to terms with that and getting it out of the way, I am free to enjoy it. I like not having any authority. I like having the luxury of practice and contemplation.

I love just being a student again.

November Check-in

Damn. Been so long since I updated this thing I almost forgot how to work the admin screens.

Two quick notes:

The over-talented and under-employed Bock has redesigned his site, so head on over and check it out. It is a beautiful thing.

Friend and classmate Craig Marks has written several articles for Martial Talk Magazine , and I have just finished converting the first to HTML for Master Lee’s website . Craig has done a superb job with the research, and the article should be an interesting read for practitioners of all styles of martial arts.